Ehrlich and Baltimore City Public Schools: Passion or just Politics

There is an interesting article in the Sun today. Apparently, Bobby Haircut really cares about Baltimore City schools. I know, I was surprised too. I thought Bobby's thing was slots and destroying the chesapeke bay. Wrong, you see, his pet issue has always been the performance of City schools (which leads me to think Mr. Ehrlich ran for the wrong office).

In fact, Ehrlich cares so much that he has completely ingnored the concerns of local jusrisdictions, even in his home county:

But Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr. agreed with O'Malley's assessment that Ehrlich has not been a partner in helping local jurisdictions on many issues.

"I have no input with the governor with respect to school board appointments," Smith said. "He doesn't work with Baltimore County, and I'm the country executive of his home county."


The real thing to note here is that Ehrlich has no room to talk about school quality. After reading this WAPO article its clear that County schools are suffering just as much as city schools:

Yesterday, the Maryland State Department of Education reported that 241 elementary and middle schools fell short of academic targets in 2005-06, based on standardized test scores for grades 3 through 8 and student attendance data. That represented an increase of more than 20 percent over the previous annual total of 196.

and compare that record to the record of city schools:

Data released yesterday show that more than 80 Baltimore schools failed to meet performance targets and more than 60 are rated in need of improvement, and most have been on the list for several years.

Ok then, so why do Mr. Ehrlich and Mrs. Grasmick feel that they have the right to take over city schools when they are having the very same problems of which they accuse Mr. O'Malley? Maybe Bobby realized he has nothing else to run on but the percieved negatives of Mr. O'Malley. Too bad for him, any informed voter with the power to do a google search will see right through Ehrlich's attempt to pin faltering public schools on they Mayor.



The Real Steele

UPDATE (photos)

Golly, can't you just see how much Mr. Steele hates being a republican. Laugh it up, buddy.

Head over here for more information about the real Michael Steele.


Mfume Gets It

Mr. Kweisi Mfume, my favorite in the upcoming Democratic Senatorial Primary in Maryland, has no problem going into conservative territory with a very liberal message. Mr. Mfume has no problem going into conservative, working class areas, because he himself is a member of the working class.

Kweisi Mfume stepped onto the shop floor of the English American Tailoring Co. yesterday and looked at the women cutting pieces of fabric, working sewing machines and pressing new suits.

"I used to work in a place like this," he observed, and described his three years at an auto parts plant in West Baltimore. Having made the connection, he started to work the room.

Was Mr. Mfume offering a cure for cancer? No. He was offering real solutions and experience to help the working class in Maryland and around the the country. People were responding:

In Frederick, Mfume stopped at Hartz & Co. Inc., a sewing shop of more than 200 workers that is slated for closure in October. He emerged from a private meeting with workers to tell reporters that some unspecified help might be on the way. He was trailing several employees ready to pledge their support for his candidacy.

"To be honest, I hadn't heard of him," said Diane Jacobs, a machine operator at the plant for more than 34 years. "He seems like a hardworking person. He came from a background kind of like mine. He had to work to get ahead."

Sure, Mr. Cardin has been endorsed by the AFL-CIO, but what does his voting record show? It shows what Mr. Mfume says it does, Mr. Cardin is an administrator, not a fighter.

As a member of Congress, Mfume voted against NAFTA. Cardin, his principal rival for the Democratic nomination, supported the agreement. Mfume described his former colleague as a "good person, a decent individual, who is an administrator. And I like to think of myself as an advocate. I want to stand up and fight for things."

Not only does this Sun article show Mr. Mfume's realistic take on the current labor situation in his state, but it also highlights his amazing campaigning skills and his dedication to his future constituents. Mr. Mfume needs your support:


New Music

So this past weekend I threw frugality to the wind and bought a bunch of music.

Lets start with

Billy Bragg rules, but this CD has yet to grow on me. The first track, "The Internationale" is a bit heavy handed. I guess it was Bragg's attempt to make some sort of standard International Anthem. It just sounds dated. I am looking forward to watching the live footage on the bonus DVD!

Next up:

This the Mountain Goats' first album. Good lo-fi folk. I really like the lyrics of this band. This is porch-sittin' whiskey-drinkin' music, at least I think so. I got the whiskey, I got a porch, lets do this thang...

Moving on:

I grabbed this double CD of Superchunk unreleased songs and b-sides when I saw that it had an acoustic version of "Detroit has a Skyline". It was worth it just for that. Each song has liner notes that give commentary from the band on the history of the songs. This is a great deal, 2 cds of Superchunk songs for the price of 1. Merge records wins!

And I got:

Sizzla has been in my listening library ever since I heard his single on Sirius radio. The single is the title track of the album, "Ain't Gonna See Us Fall." Its pretty lame and white-boy of me, but I find this CD to be pretty uplifting. Positive resistance, or something along those lines. Feel free to hit your back buttons at any time...

Moving On:

This is the second of the Thug Matrix albums from QB's finest, Tragedy Khadafi. This is full of more bangers, though some tracks are weaker than the awesomely consistent Thug Matrix Vol. 1. Guest this time include some of my D-Block favorites, Jadakiss and Styles-P. It is what it to be, scooby...

Does it ever end?

Dan Higgs recently did a piece on the local NPR station about him and his band, Lungfish. The guy is cleary on some other plane of existence and his music shows as much. I like this record a lot. Bearded folk make good music, i think this is the lesson.

Oh man:

K-Swift, the CLUB QUEEN. If you are into Baltimore Club, this is the CD to start with. Tracks such as "Up the Hill" and "Don't Make" wil get any party started right. If your party is into gratuitous violence and anger in their club music, all the better. If you play this in the car, you best be better to roll hard, or at least bust a move at a stoplight.

And finally:

Not sure why I thought this would be good, but it was only 8 bucks. I listened to it once and other than the single, this is pretty weak. I will give it a few more tries. I wish this album had more guests. At least T.I. guest spot or Mannie Fresh beat would liven things up.

So ends my positive bank account balance.